Resource: Restore Due Process Model Resolution
President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on December 31, 2011. The NDAA contains provisions that could allow indefinite and arbitrary military detention, without a trial or day in court, of anyone accused of any “belligerent act” or terror-related offense—including “material support” allegations based strictly on speech or association. It essentially subjects everyone within the US (including citizens, legal residents, and visitors) to the same lawless standards at work in Guantánamo Bay.
The NDAA subjects these individuals to arbitrary detention without trial, denying the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process and Sixth Amendment rights to challenge evidence and confront one’s accusers. The NDAA also endangers First and Fourth Amendment rights, because the PATRIOT Act expanded the definition of “material support for terrorism” to include crimes of speech and association even by defendants who neither committed nor ever intended to support violence.
One of the most effective ways to keep public attention on due process is to organize support for local statements or resolutions opposing military detention and supporting the right to trial.
BORDC has drafted a Restore Due Process Model Resolution that gives any city or town the opportunity to raise its voice in defense of due process and the right to trial. Cities,counties, and even states across America have already begun mobilizing, and the first resolution opposing the NDAA has already passed in El Paso County, CO, home of the US Air Force Academy. Could your city or town be next?
Model resolutions and state bills
- BORDC’s model resolution to restore due process and the right to trial (based on the resolution passed in Northampton, MA)
- The Tenth Amendment Center’s Liberty Preservation Act
- Missouri Senate Bill 819
Resources on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
- “Guantánamo Forever?” by Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar, New York Times, December 12, 2011
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee Executive Director Shahid Buttar’s FAQ on the NDAA:
- “Military Detention versus We the People” by Shahid Buttar, Truthout, November 27, 2011
- “Congress vs. the Constitution” by Shahid Buttar, Truthout, December 13, 2011
- “Three myths about the detention bill” by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, December 16, 2011